(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)
The People’s Land Army
During the Second World War, young women were enlisted to leave the cities to go work in the countryside on English farms. Given that our modern Argibusiness will fall due to the lack of replacement/repair parts, Bio-robots will need be used, that is humans. There is a long history of the draft for war for conscripting soldiers and sailors but what about a draft for factory and farm workers? We may have a clue that “conscription” for non-military functions may be planned for our post-apocalypse life. In the report, entitled “THE EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS” published in 1979 by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) the government included a fictional account of what life post-nuclear war would look life. Part of that fictional government story was that people would be “conscripted” for recovery and farm work.
Lack of Transportation
I suspect that just like during World War II, rubber from the Far East will also be in short supply and what rubber is available will be going towards the war effort. Lack of repair parts will sideline a lot of vehicles as will the rationing of gas. In World War II, bicycles became a major mode of transportation. Not that I want to have to ride my bike into town for supplies but it may become the only option. Many of us may have bikes for exercise and recreation but we need to ensure that those bikes are functional for WWIII. Do you have lights so you can travel at night if need be? Do you have a cargo rack and/or baskets to carry supplies to and from town? Do you have extra parts, especially inner tubes, tires, and brake pads? Don’t forget a way to secure your stockpile when you are in town conducting business. Bikes were also a major part of Civil Dense communications. Civil Defense planned on messengers on bikes to relay messages between command posts and other locations like shelters or fire stations. So, besides transportation, your bike may also be key to communication.
Depending upon the availability of gas/diesel you may still be able to operate a vehicle, that is if your favorite uncle doesn’t need the parts/metal. Keep extra filters, fluids, and tires on hand. Have a good patch/plug kit on hand too. If you don’t have an operating vehicle or bike, then you might want to put away some extra pairs of comfortable walking shoes and socks in storage.
Did you think that the supply chain issues from Covid were bad? When tensions with China flare, the flow of goods will stop. We all know the amount of goods made in China and we all know that many more things use raw materials or parts from China as well. Food rationing will be more restrictive than it was in WWII. Load up on stape foods now. Think salt, sugar, baking soda and spices. One thing homesteaders and some preppers may have going for them is our ability to still cook/bake from scratch whereas most Americans just pulls dinner out of the freezer and heats it up in a microwave. If you don’t already have cookbooks from the 1800s through WWII, then try to find them now. We need to be able to ensure our stored foods can be used wisely and recipes, from these earlier time periods were simple and used quite simple basic ingredients.
If you have land and don’t have livestock, then you are making a big mistake. Regardless of the practices put in place by our Uncle Sam, there will be opportunities to get around them. In WWII home gardens were called Liberty Gardens, in the next war I predict that they will be Survival Gardens. Spring is coming, so get busy. Don’t forget to put extra heirloom seeds away and learn to save seeds so that you have a perpetual supply. These seeds will also be extremely valuable for trade. Rationing will be put in place and will be implemented and enforced with the help of banks who can track purchases.
Community Defense Forces
During WWII the states implemented a massive civil defense system. The fear of bombing from enemy aircraft or ships caused communities to establish air wardens to identify planes, these wardens also enforced “blackout” rules so that light wasn’t used to help the enemy navigate. With today’s GPS and other technology we may not need air wardens but the threat from saboteurs and enemy agents will be real. During the Cold War the Soviets had an “Active Measures” program. After the Cold War during Congressional hearings the extent of these programs came to light. Caches of radio equipment, weapons, and explosives were placed throughout the US and NATO countries. There was also testimony that suitcase tactical nuclear weapons were also smuggled into the US and hidden.
Part of the active measure program was carrying out acts of sabotage on key infrastructure, like the electric power grids, rail systems, and manufacturing plants. Those in power today in Russia are all products of the Cold War. To think that the old programs, like Active Measures, would not be implemented today may be very naïve. Community defense forces will be established to protect critical infrastructure. If you hear that these forces are being assembled, then volunteer for them quickly. Curfews will also be put in place. But since factories will be operating 24/7 patrols and checkpoints will be used to make sure those out after curfews have legitimate reasons. The operation of ham radios and maybe even CB radios will be heavily regulated or even prohibited. So have a sturdy bike. The private use of drones will be made illegal. There may even be “drone drives” to collect drones for parts so that they can be used to build drones for the war effort.
Drives for firearms, ammunition, and even binoculars are also real possibilities. During WWII, Americans donated rifles and binoculars for the British Home Guard since the military-issue items were all going to soldiers but were needed by civilian defense forces guarding the homeland. If you live in a smaller community (10,000 or less) you need to start attending your local government meetings (city, township, village, or borough) if you don’t already. I live in a very sparsely populated township and I’m new to the area. Attending these meetings has multiple benefits. In regards to prepping for war, you may get information that is being passed along to local government officials. If you attend the meeting and get to know your elected officials and they get to know you, they may heed your advice or offer assistance when all this comes to fruition. It is also a good way to meet neighbors. It is all about relationships, folks. Make them now.
Consider this: You have several relationships among neighbors in a mile radius of you. You know what they may have to trade and their political ideologies versus when war comes and rationing and other laws are put in place and you have no relationships. Trying to trade with those “strangers” will be difficult and dangerous. They may think you are a government “agent” trying to catch them breaking rationing or black market laws or that you are casing them out. Think this is far-fetched? I live near a bunch of Mennonite and Amish. One of my Mennonite neighbors was telling me about buying some wheat and I asked where. He told me about an Amish-run store and where but said there are no signs indicating the farm sells anything since they (the Amish owners) did not want to deal with the state regulators. The store is only known to locals who have relationships with other neighbors.
Better than cash or gold
With all manufacturing and production focused on the war effort there will be few, if any, consumer goods. It would be a good idea to put away some consumer and comfort goods. Cash won’t be king. Instead, it will be things like sweets (candy), and clothes that get worn out but won’t be able to be replaced like underwear and socks. Bottles of alcohol may also bring a good price since distilleries and breweries may be repurposed for the war effort too. Really almost any consumer good will have value during the next war. As far as gold, I believe that it will get outlawed like it did under FDR, in 1933.
The preceding information was for living during the next wartime economy, assuming that nuclear or EMP weapons have not been used. We must however have to assume that any shooting war among the “superpowers” would ultimately end with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The use of nuclear weapons should not be ruled out. Should nuclear bombs or EMP-tailored nuclear weapons be used all the above will still be true. However, the distribution of the meager rations and the domestic supply chains will collapse. The ability of the federal and state governments to exert their control will be severally diminished. Local governments may try to maintain “control”, but with lack of communications, that will be a struggle. There will be challenges to those in power locally, as those many who currently fill local offices will not have the skillsets to deal with the multitude of challenges. Control of local governments will be fierce as these people will capitalize on being “official”. This is why you must be active in your local government now. Our founding fathers viewed government as a “necessary evil”. The only thing that curbs evil is our active participation and involvement.
Dwindling Nuke Knowledge
There are not a lot of people who understand EMP, nuclear weapons effects, and radiation protection in local governments. So this lack of knowledge at the local level will increase the odds that information from higher levels of government, that also don’t know what they’re doing will be used. In 1991, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency stopped nuclear attack planning. The people who had these jobs have long since retired. Gone are the plans, training, and stocks of supplies that once made up Civil Defense. Today’s Emergency Managers no longer have the institutional knowledge or training concerning nuclear war planning/preparedness. Should a nuclear war take place or an EMP-tailored weapon be used, survival will be at the local level — think a few miles around you. Build relationships and trust now with people in that radius.